Anointed With the Holy Spirit and Power
In the Book of Acts we are told “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who under the power of the devil, because God was with Him “ (Acts 10:38). In the Book of 1 John we are also told “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8b).
Now the works of the devil can be summed up in this that he keeps unsaved people enslaved to the power of sin, enslaved to the sins of immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, lust and greed, and to idolatry and every other sin of the fleshly nature.
Because of these things they are under the wrath of God, being sons and daughters of disobedience, violators of God’s laws, spiritually dead towards God, walking in the ways of this world, conformed to its pleasures, ambitions and self-gratification, fulfilling the cravings of the flesh, indulging its every desire and thought, and by nature are children of wrath and bound for an eternity in the lake of fire. (Colossians 3:6) (Ephesians 2:1-3) (Revelation21:8). The unsaved people in this world are all under the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19). All of these things are the works of the devil.
The Messiah our Lord Jesus was sent into the world to deliver us all from the power and penalty of sin, and out of the clutches of the evil one and to destroy the works of the devil in the hearts and minds of fallen man. We know that the Lord Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, and that what He did when He walked this earth He still does today. What was the Messiah our Lord Jesus anointed by the Holy Spirit to do on earth? How does He do this today?
Isaiah the prophet foretold hundreds of years before about the things that the Messiah would do for those enslaved to Satan and sin and bound for the lake of fire. Let’s look at this…
(Isaiah 61:1-2) “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God.”
In the Gospel of Luke, after the Lord Jesus had been baptised, in the River Jordan by John the Baptist, and after having had received the anointing of the Holy Spirit for His ministry, and after having been led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil He returned to Galilee full of the Holy Spirit. News about him spread through the whole countryside as He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. He went into His home town of Nazareth where He had been brought up and on the Sabbath day went into the Synagogue as was His custom.
He stood to read and the scroll of Isaiah was handed to Him. Unrolling the scroll He found the place where this prophecy of Isaiah was to be found and after reading it He gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
While His hearers initially spoke well of Him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips, the religious leaders had a ‘knee jerk’ reaction towards Him because they recognised Him as their own hometown boy who had grown up among them and could not accept that He was the Messiah prophesied by Isaiah.
Most of these religious leaders were wilfully blind. They were suddenly confronted with one who was an immediate threat to their autocracy. They had a religious profession but He had spiritual power! The Lord Jesus of course already knew how they would react and after speaking the absolute truth about their wilful spiritual blindness, the religious leaders drove Him out of the town and sought to throw Him over the edge of the hill upon which the town was built. But He walked through the crowd and went on His way. Let’s now look at Isaiah 61:1-2.
What then was the Lord Jesus anointed to do, and that He still does today?
1. He was anointed to preach the good news to the poor
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor.” In His sermon on the mount the Lord Jesus said; “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). He meant by the poor in spirit, those who were aware of their spiritual poverty and knew that only God could provide what they did not have.
The good news for them was that the Lord Jesus had come into the world to save sinners from the power and eternal penalty of sin and from the spiritual poverty sin brings. By the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through the Lord Jesus, those who knew their spiritual poverty, thinking they were too bad to be accepted by God, gladly responded to Him and to the gracious words and the demonstration of the Spirit and power that flowed out from Him towards them.
Hope was ignited in their hearts that through Him they could be reconciled to God, have their sins forgiven and cleansed, and empowered by Him to enter into a personal relationship with God. The common people heard Him gladly (Mark 12:13). They saw that through Him their sins could be forgiven because Jesus had the authority on earth as the third person in the Godhead to forgive sin (Matthew 9:6).
It may be that you are mourning over your sin and the fact that no matter how you try to master it you do not have the spiritual power to overcome it in your life. Deep down on the inside you feel its power and the guilt and condemnation it produces rising up within you like a spectre. You know that you have broken God’s laws and are on your road to hell but deep down on the inside, knowing full well the power of sin and your inability to overcome it, you want to be free from its power and its penalty and delivered out of the grip of the devil, and go to be with the LORD forever in His eternal kingdom. Is this your desire above all other desires?
It is only the Lord Jesus that can change you deep down on the inside through the power of His Holy Spirit, and through the power of His blood shed at the cross to atone for your sin and to cleanse you from it when you confess it to Him (1 John 1:7-9). God himself was in the Messiah, the third person of the Triune God, reconciling the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19). Are you mourning over your sin? Then through a willingness to turn from it, crying out to God to accomplish it, and by putting your trust in Jesus alone to save you from it, will prove to be good news for you.
God will comfort you in your mourning, remove its power to keep you in its grip, replace your grief with a crown of beauty instead of ashes, and bestow on you the oil of joy, being the power of the Holy Spirit. Your mourning over your sin He will replace with the garment of praise for deliverance from its power and eternal penalty, and from that spirit of despair over it (Isaiah 61:3).
As God’s Word says God’s goodness leads you to repentance, and repent you must with God’s help, if you would spend eternity with Him. Through repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus the Messiah you will be saved! (Acts 20:21)
When you put your head on the pillow tonight, and should you die, you will enter into Heaven, having the inward peaceful assurance from the Holy Spirit that all your sins are forgiven and cleansed by the Messiah’s blood that has fully and forever atoned for your sin (John 1:29) (1 John 2:2) (Galatians 4:6). You will find yourself able to delight in the LORD and in your soul rejoice in your Triune God because He has clothed you with His garments of salvation and wrapped you around with the robe of the Messiah’s righteousness received by faith through God’s unmerited unearned favour towards you (Isaiah 61:3, 10) (Philippians 3:7-11) (Ephesians 2:8-10).
As it is written; “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s unearned and unmerited favour” (Ephesians 1:7).
If you are painfully aware of your spiritual poverty then the good news is that Jesus the Messiah came into the world to save sinners, and that He did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance, and that He has the authority to forgive sin seeing He is God the Son in the flesh! (Matthew 9:6) (Luke 5:24).
2. He was anointed to bind up the broken-hearted
“He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted” Many in this world have suffered a broken heart over a broken relationship, the loss of a job or a loved one, or a broken heart because of a dream lost or a hope dashed to pieces, and these things are the lot of all of us as human beings. However, the broken heart that Isaiah speaks of here is a heart broken by sin and a heart that desires to be rescued from its power, and recognizes that one’s only hope for life and for eternity is in embracing the Lord Jesus as the only way to God, the only truth concerning God, and the eternal quality of life that can only come from God.
Salvation from sin, forgiveness and cleansing from sin and an escape from an eternity in the lake of fire is only found in and through the Lord Jesus (John 3:16-18; 10:10; 14:6) (Acts 4:12).
If you are conscious of your sin and through this consciousness have a broken heart that needs spiritual surgery then the Lord Jesus still has the power to heal the wound of it completely and to impart to you God’s peace that transcends all human understanding, a peace which will garrison your heart and mind in the Messiah our Lord Jesus (Philippians 4:7).
This is a supernatural peace that is not based on outward feelings, emotions, circumstances, relationships or situations, but a supernatural peace that wells up from deep down on the inside and overflows in thankfulness and praise to God despite whatever has broken our hearts, and we all have experienced heartbreak in our lives. The Messiah our Lord Jesus is the Prince of Peace and only He can mend our broken heart in temporal matters once He has mended our heart in spiritual matters. The spiritual always comes first before the natural.
The Spiritual relationship with God is the key domino that topples all of the other dominos concerning the issues of life we face every day. Indeed we know that God is in control of everything that happens to us when we have become a brand new spiritual creation in the Messiah (Romans 8:28).
We come under the lordship of the Messiah, and He works in us according to God’s good acceptable and perfect will for our lives when our will is fully surrendered by faith to His will (2 Corinthians 5:17) (Romans 12:1-2) (Philippians 2:13). If you are not willing to surrender your life to Him are you willing to be made willing? Doing God’s will in His way will be difficult but in the end it will prove to be the best, the sweetest and most satisfying thing you could ever do in this world.
3. He was anointed to proclaim freedom from spiritual blindness
“…to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” Whenever the Lord Jesus did a miraculous healing it was always to demonstrate a spiritual truth. When He healed a crippled person He was saying I can enable you to walk in spiritual health and in that path God has mapped out for you before you were born. With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).
At one time He said to a crippled man to take up his mat and walk which the man did after the Lord Jesus had healed him. In this particular case he was crippled because of having lived a sinful life. Taking up his mat would be a constant reminder to that man not to forget what he once was before Jesus healed Him and gave him the ability to walk. All of us are crippled spiritually until the Lord Jesus, through the power of His Spirit enables us to walk spiritually.
When He healed a deaf person He was saying that one must hear the Word of God with the ears of the heart. Unless we hear the voice of the Lord Jesus with the ears of our heart we will not be able to exercise saving faith even though we might read the Bible. Spiritual matters are discerned by the Spirit and not by human effort or intellect (1 Corinthians 2:13-16). Having said this, the way to get faith is to hear the Word of God with the ears of a willing and obedient heart open to the voice of the Holy Spirit and to be regularly led by Him (Romans 10:17) (John 5:25) (Romans 8:14). With man this is impossible to do by his own strength or will power, but with God all things are possible!
Here in our text we see that the Messiah was anointed to proclaim freedom to those incarcerated in the dark dungeon of sin, spiritually blind and captives to that spiritual darkness and under the power of the devil. The only way to be free from this spiritual darkness is to be spiritually reborn from above by the Holy Spirit (John 3:3).
In John’s gospel the Lord Jesus was speaking to a prominent Jewish religious leader and this man, despite his knowledge of the scriptures, did not have the inward revelation about the New Birth that is revealed all the way through the entire Bible.All the way through God’s Word, the Bible the new birth by the Spirit is clearly revealed in those who remained faithful to God. This was the circumcision of the heart by the Spirit, not due to the outward rite of circumcision (Romans 2:28-29).
Have you been born again? Have you received spiritual sight that the Messiah our Lord Jesus came into the World as God the Son to save sinners, which all of us are by birth and nature, and to rescue you from the power of sin and it eternal consequences in the lake of fire? Have you been rescued out of the clutches of the devil? Have you been born again? Have you been released from the dungeon of spiritual darkness, ignorance and sin? We are all born spiritually blind until the Lord Jesus gives us spiritual sight.
This is different from wilful blindness which the Lord Jesus pointed to in the lives of the Jewish religious leaders who refused to see and acknowledge Him as the Messiah, and as the only way back to God. They were the blind leading the blind (Matthew 23:16-22) (John 9:40-41). This is what religion does!
The Lord Jesus was into life and not into religious structures, ceremonies, traditions and buildings! In fact God cannot be confined to buildings (Acts 7:48-49). Have you been born again? Without this new spiritual rebirth from above you will never enter into or perceive the unseen spiritual realities concerning the kingdom of God revealed in His Word the Bible! (John 3:3)
4. He was anointed to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour
“…to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour” Rabbi the apostle Paul wrote; “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Messiah Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all” (1 Timothy 1:15). He also wrote; “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Messiah died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8).
The apostle John wrote; “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:16-18).
At the cross an exchange took place. The Messiah, our Lord Jesus, who knew no sin at all, was made to be a sin offering, or a sacrifice for our sin, so that we might be made righteous in God’s sight with the righteousness of His Son. As Rabbi the apostle Paul wrote; “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin (a sin offering) on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Even though the Messiah was without sin God treated Him as if He was a sinner so that He might treat us, who by nature and birth are sinners, as righteous and as His sons by adoption, even though He knows and we know that we are not righteous in his sight. This is the righteousness that comes from God and is bestowed by faith in the Messiah our Lord Jesus (Romans 3:21-31). As Isaiah the prophet writes; “And the Lord has laid upon Him the iniquity (rebellion) of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).
Through the Messiah’s atoning death on our behalf God declared to the whole world the year of His favour! Why? Because God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Repentance of course must always come before spiritual seasons of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord. It is not the other way around (Acts 3:19-20).
5. He will be anointed to proclaim the day of God’s vengeance
“…and the day of vengeance of our God.” When the Lord Jesus made this declaration in Luke Chapter four He stopped at the phrase ”to proclaim the years of the Lord’s favour” and then rolled up the scroll. He did not quote “and the day of vengeance of our God.” Why did He do this? Well in His first coming He was coming of the saviour of the world in the likeness of the suffering servant Joseph in the Old Testament. Joseph was the means of saving not only his own people but everyone throughout the entire empire of Egypt when the famine came (Genesis 15:19). The Messiah our Lord Jesus is the suffering servant Isaiah writes about in Isaiah Chapter 53.
In His Second Coming the Messiah will come in the likeness of King David the all-conquering king and as the judge of the world riding on a white horse accompanied by the armies of heaven as He takes the fight to His enemies (Isaiah 45:1-7a; 63:1-6) (Revelation 19: 11-21). It is a day known only by God and appointed by God when He will judge the whole world by the man He has appointed the Messiah our Lord Jesus, God’s eternal Son. As we read in the Book of Acts; “For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).
The average person in the street, who remains unsaved, has no real comprehension of the scope of the wrath of God that is coming upon a Messiah hating, Messiah rejecting world, hostile to God and hostile towards His redeemed people. Even the disaster movies they make these days fail to convey the full comprehensive and panoramic scene of horror that will confront the whole world in the day of the Lord when everything on earth and in the heavens will be shaken to their very core (Haggai 2:6) (Hebrews 12:25-27). On that day people from every level of society will seek to hide from the face of Him who sits on the throne of heaven, and from the wrath of the Lamb of God, the Messiah (Isaiah 24:1-13, 18-23) (Revelation 6:12-17).
When the Messiah our Lord Jesus comes back the very constellations in the heavens will be shaken and every kingdom and enterprise and institution of man that God has not established on earth, will be uprooted and toppled (Isaiah 24:18b-23) . Only those who have repented of their sin and have come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus as their sin bearer, and as their rightful Lord and saviour, whose blood has redeemed them and provided for them forgiveness of sin, and by faith in His blood, will be saved from the wrath of God that is coming upon this world at the very end of this present age.
As New Covenant believers it is only the blood of Jesus that has atoned for our sins, received by faith and that has provided redemption and forgiveness of our sins, and that has cleansed us from our sin, that will protect us in the day of God’s wrath (Romans 5:9). As New Covenant believers in the Messiah we are destined for tribulation in this world as we take up our cross daily to follow the Lord Jesus, however, we are not destined for wrath but destined to be rescued and protected from God’s wrath by Messiah Jesus (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9). It was then, the Messiah our Lord Jesus who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom is glory forever and ever. Amen…” (Galatians 1:4).
In light of this study have you been born again? Have you the witness of the Holy Spirit to your spirit deep down on the inside that you have received forgiveness for all of your sins? Do you have a saving faith in the blood of Jesus that has fully and forever atoned for your sins before a Just and Righteous God who is the judge of both the living and the dead? Have you been washed deep down on the inside from spiritual defilement by the blood of Jesus? Have you a daily faith walk with the Triune God completely trusting in the merits and righteousness of the Lord Jesus? If this is not your experience then it can be right now if you want it to be. You can be reconciled to God for time and for eternity. How does this happen?
Well the apostle Peter was asked this question on the day of Pentecost by the Jews listening to his sermon and he replied; “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Messiah for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you (those Jews present) and your children (their children) and for all who are far off (the Gentiles), as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself (every person in every age)” (Acts 2:38-39).
Rabbi the apostle Paul also wrote; “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with your heart you believe and are justified, and with your mouth you confess and are saved” (Romans 10:8-10).
The apostle John wrote; “He (Jesus the Messiah) came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood (lineage) nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).
What was the Messiah our Lord Jesus anointed by God to do? He was anointed to deliver us from this present evil age, to destroy the works of the devil in the unsaved, those works being all sin and its consequences in this world and in the world to come.
And so Isaiah writes concerning the Messiah our Lord Jesus…
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God” (Isaiah 61:1-2).
If you have never been born again then you can be right now. Here is a suggested prayer…
“Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for paying the penalty for my sin. I want to turn away from my sin and turn to you for forgiveness and cleansing. I cannot do this in my own strength but only by your enabling power through the Holy Spirit. I am willing to be baptised as a witness to my faith and willingness to have you redirect my life. I ask you to cleanse me from all of my past sins by your blood and to make me a brand new spiritual creation deep down on the inside. Please forgive me for all my past sins. Help me to change my will to conform to your will for my life and give me your Holy Spirit so that I can be empowered to confess you as my Saviour and Lord. I now confess with my mouth that you are Lord and believe in my heart that God raised you to life again from the dead, and by faith receive you as my personal Saviour from sin and as the rightful lord over my life. Thank you for saving me. Amen.”